Wrapping up the unthinkable 2020-2021 and turning a page
I have rarely been so overjoyed to welcome the perfect number of 2020, MMXX…and have rarely been so utterly disappointed by what it brought, and its 2021 sequel just fitted in horribly!
I can see the hope and beauty of solidarity in parts of the world indeed, but overall, what I see is selfishness, pettiness and narrow-mindedness. I have kept a record of the first wave of a virus but, as we are witnessing its fourth or fifth resurgence, I am at a loss trying to make sense of the chaos. Trying to understand why people suddenly get so confused to the point of depriving themselves (and thus propagating…) of all the spice of life (sharing a warm meal or attending exhibitions) for fears of another age.
It seems hard to believe that two years ago, we were just starting to hear about something that so drastically altered our lives, our ways to envision our future, shape our plans and simply learn to just walk one step at a time.
Even now, as I am on my finishing line to spend the holidays in Paris, I’ve got that big cloud hanging over me, vaccinated with three-jabs or not, menacing to once more alter all our plans.
I will soon enough publish the itinerary of our summer holidays from Paris to Skagen via half of Europe and including Italy (believe it or not) but right now, let me share my thoughts, wishes and library additions since COVID gave me ample opportunity to update my bibliographic notes.
In France and even in Geneva, I clearly see the worst of politics, opportunism and blind populism which identified the uneasy feelings in part of the population but exploit them in the most despicable manner. Media are more and more seeking massive clicks and immediate reactions and it seems to have become a serious danger.
On a brighter side, I’ve also come to realize how extraordinary teaching was, especially at a time like ours, no matter how exhausting and frustrating it can also be. Teaching life rather than just English is what I would suggest teachers to focus upon…
Strangely enough, debating today with my students about William the Conqueror and showing them the Bayeux Tapestry reminded me of my lecture in a Californian prison back eight years ago, when all I had been told was: “make them forget where they are and take them away from here”. This is exactly what I’m doing with every lesson I give or take.
Indeed, since COVID got me grounded the very year my agenda was packed with exhibitions and museums to visit, I had my sweet revenge by becoming a student again of the Ecole du Louvre. So far, my classes have been virtual but they have enabled me to get the most of very knowledgeable and qualified lecturers as suggested by my bibliographic notes.
This is why I have included the list of my bibliographic additions which will one day make their way into my bibliographic pages.
So for this year, let me simply wish you, my dear and patient readers, or me, the one who will read this post some day, to be patient and tolerant enough, grateful for what we have and keeping hope for better futures. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2022, a turning point in my life indeed!